This comes from the Alzheimer's Association ...
Myth 2: Alzheimer’s disease is not fatal.
Reality: Alzheimer's disease has no survivors. It destroys brain cells and causes memory changes, erratic behaviors and loss of body functions.
My Dad is in early Alz. and his younger sister is in the end stage of the disease. I did a lot of research when my aunt was first diagnosed. My conclusion is that the disease destroys brain cells to the point that only the brain stem is left intact at the end stages and once the disease destroys the brain stem (responsible for basic life support--- breathing, heart beating, etc.) the patient dies. I do not know if this is a correct conclusion, if anyone out there can correct me and explain, I'd welcome your remarks. Also, as patients deteriorate, they become virtually immobile which leaves the door wide open for infections such as pneumonia which can be fatal in an elderly, already-fragile patient.
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